The mechanisms that promote the generation of new coronary vasculature during cardiac homeostasis and after injury remain a fundamental and clinically important area of study in the cardiovascular field. Recently, it was reported that mesenchymal-to-endothelial transition (MEndoT) contributes to substantial numbers of coronary endothelial cells after myocardial infarction. Therefore, the MEndoT has been proposed as a paradigm mediating neovascularization and is considered a promising therapeutic target in cardiac regeneration. Here, we show that preexisting endothelial cells mainly beget new coronary vessels in the adult mouse heart, with essentially no contribution from other cell sources through cell-lineage transdifferentiation. Genetic-lineage tracing revealed that cardiac fibroblasts expand substantially after injury, but do not contribute to the formation of new coronary blood vessels, indicating no contribution of MEndoT to neovascularization. Moreover, genetic-lineage tracing with a pulse-chase labeling strategy also showed that essentially all new coronary vessels in the injured heart are derived from preexisting endothelial cells, but not from other cell lineages. These data indicate that therapeutic strategies for inducing neovascularization should not be based on targeting presumptive lineage transdifferentiation such as MEndoT. Instead, preexisting endothelial cells appear more likely to be the therapeutic target for promoting neovascularization and driving heart regeneration after injury.
Lingjuan He, Xiuzhen Huang, Onur Kanisicak, Yi Li, Yue Wang, Yan Li, Wenjuan Pu, Qiaozhen Liu, Hui Zhang, Xueying Tian, Huan Zhao, Xiuxiu Liu, Shaohua Zhang, Yu Nie, Shengshou Hu, Xiang Miao, Qing-Dong Wang, Fengchao Wang, Ting Chen, Qingbo Xu, Kathy O. Lui, Jeffery D. Molkentin, Bin Zhou
Tumors are capable of coopting hematopoietic cells to create a suitable microenvironment to support malignant growth. Here, we have demonstrated that upregulation of kinase insert domain receptor (KDR), also known as VEGFR2, in a myeloid cell sublineage is necessary for malignant progression of gliomas in transgenic murine models and is associated with high-grade tumors in patients. KDR expression increased in myeloid cells as myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) accumulated, which was associated with the transformation and progression of low-grade fibrillary astrocytoma to high-grade anaplastic gliomas. KDR deficiency in murine BM-derived cells (BMDCs) suppressed the differentiation of myeloid lineages and reduced granulocytic/monocytic populations. The depletion of myeloid-derived KDR compromised its proangiogenic function, which inhibited the angiogenic switch necessary for malignant progression of low-grade to high-grade tumors. We also identified inhibitor of DNA binding protein 2 (ID2) as a key upstream regulator of KDR activation during myeloid differentiation. Deficiency of ID2 in BMDCs led to downregulation of KDR, suppression of proangiogenic myeloid cells, and prevention of low-grade to high-grade transition. Tumor-secreted TGF-β and granulocyte-macrophage CSF (GM-CSF) enhanced the KDR/ID2 signaling axis in BMDCs. Our results suggest that modulation of KDR/ID2 signaling may restrict tumor-associated myeloid cells and could potentially be a therapeutic strategy for preventing transformation of premalignant gliomas.
Yujie Huang, Prajwal Rajappa, Wenhuo Hu, Caitlin Hoffman, Babacar Cisse, Joon-Hyung Kim, Emilie Gorge, Rachel Yanowitch, William Cope, Emma Vartanian, Raymond Xu, Tuo Zhang, David Pisapia, Jenny Xiang, Jason Huse, Irina Matei, Hector Peinado, Jacqueline Bromberg, Eric Holland, Bi-sen Ding, Shahin Rafii, David Lyden, Jeffrey Greenfield
Controlled angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis are essential for tissue development, function, and repair. However, aberrant neovascularization is an essential pathogenic mechanism in many human diseases, including diseases involving tumor growth and survival. Here, we have demonstrated that mice deficient in C-type lectin family 14 member A (CLEC14A) display enhanced angiogenic sprouting and hemorrhage as well as enlarged jugular lymph sacs and lymphatic vessels. CLEC14A formed a complex with VEGFR-3 in endothelial cells (ECs), and CLEC14A KO resulted in a marked reduction in VEGFR-3 that was concomitant with increases in VEGFR-2 expression and downstream signaling. Implanted tumor growth was profoundly reduced in CLEC14A-KO mice compared with that seen in WT littermates, but tumor-bearing CLEC14A-KO mice died sooner. Tumors in CLEC14A-KO mice had increased numbers of nonfunctional blood vessels and severe hemorrhaging. Blockade of VEGFR-2 signaling suppressed these vascular abnormalities and enhanced the survival of tumor-bearing CLEC14A-KO mice. We conclude that CLEC14A acts in vascular homeostasis by fine-tuning VEGFR-2 and VEGFR-3 signaling in ECs, suggesting its relevance in the pathogenesis of angiogenesis-related human disorders.
Sungwoon Lee, Seung-Sik Rho, Hyojin Park, Jeong Ae Park, Jihye Kim, In-Kyu Lee, Gou Young Koh, Naoki Mochizuki, Young-Myeong Kim, Young-Guen Kwon
Different tumor microenvironments (TMEs) induce stromal cell plasticity that affects tumorigenesis. The impact of TME-dependent heterogeneity of tumor endothelial cells (TECs) on tumorigenesis is unclear. Here, we isolated pure TECs from human colorectal carcinomas (CRCs) that exhibited TMEs with either improved (Th1-TME CRCs) or worse clinical prognosis (control-TME CRCs). Transcriptome analyses identified markedly different gene clusters that reflected the tumorigenic and angiogenic activities of the respective TMEs. The gene encoding the matricellular protein SPARCL1 was most strongly upregulated in Th1-TME TECs. It was also highly expressed in ECs in healthy colon tissues and Th1-TME CRCs but low in control-TME CRCs. In vitro, SPARCL1 expression was induced in confluent, quiescent ECs and functionally contributed to EC quiescence by inhibiting proliferation, migration, and sprouting, whereas siRNA-mediated knockdown increased sprouting. In human CRC tissues and mouse models, vessels with SPARCL1 expression were larger and more densely covered by mural cells. SPARCL1 secretion from quiescent ECs inhibited mural cell migration, which likely led to stabilized mural cell coverage of mature vessels. Together, these findings demonstrate TME-dependent intertumoral TEC heterogeneity in CRC. They further indicate that TEC heterogeneity is regulated by SPARCL1, which promotes the cell quiescence and vessel homeostasis contributing to the favorable prognoses associated with Th1-TME CRCs.
Elisabeth Naschberger, Andrea Liebl, Vera S. Schellerer, Manuela Schütz, Nathalie Britzen-Laurent, Patrick Kölbel, Ute Schaal, Lisa Haep, Daniela Regensburger, Thomas Wittmann, Ludger Klein-Hitpass, Tilman T. Rau, Barbara Dietel, Valérie S. Méniel, Alan R. Clarke, Susanne Merkel, Roland S. Croner, Werner Hohenberger, Michael Stürzl
Lymphatic remodeling in tumor microenvironments correlates with progression and metastasis, and local lymphatic vessels play complex and poorly understood roles in tumor immunity. Tumor lymphangiogenesis is associated with increased immune suppression, yet lymphatic vessels are required for fluid drainage and immune cell trafficking to lymph nodes, where adaptive immune responses are mounted. Here, we examined the contribution of lymphatic drainage to tumor inflammation and immunity using a mouse model that lacks dermal lymphatic vessels (K14-VEGFR3-Ig mice). Melanomas implanted in these mice grew robustly, but exhibited drastically reduced cytokine expression and leukocyte infiltration compared with those implanted in control animals. In the absence of local immune suppression, transferred cytotoxic T cells more effectively controlled tumors in K14-VEGFR3-Ig mice than in control mice. Furthermore, gene expression analysis of human melanoma samples revealed that patient immune parameters are markedly stratified by levels of lymphatic markers. This work suggests that the establishment of tumor-associated inflammation and immunity critically depends on lymphatic vessel remodeling and drainage. Moreover, these results have implications for immunotherapies, the efficacies of which are regulated by the tumor immune microenvironment.
Amanda W. Lund, Marek Wagner, Manuel Fankhauser, Eli S. Steinskog, Maria A. Broggi, Stefani Spranger, Thomas F. Gajewski, Kari Alitalo, Hans P. Eikesdal, Helge Wiig, Melody A. Swartz
Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a major complication of diabetes and a leading cause of blindness in the working-age population. Impaired blood-retinal barrier function leads to macular edema that is closely associated with the deterioration of central vision. We previously demonstrated that the neuronal guidance cue netrin-1 activates a program of reparative angiogenesis in microglia within the ischemic retina. Here, we provide evidence in both vitreous humor of diabetic patients and in retina of a murine model of diabetes that netrin-1 is metabolized into a bioactive fragment corresponding to domains VI and V of the full-length molecule. In contrast to the protective effects of full-length netrin-1 on retinal microvasculature, the VI-V fragment promoted vascular permeability through the uncoordinated 5B (UNC5B) receptor. The collagenase matrix metalloprotease 9 (MMP-9), which is increased in patients with diabetic macular edema, was capable of cleaving netrin-1 into the VI-V fragment. Thus, MMP-9 may release netrin-1 fragments from the extracellular matrix and facilitate diffusion. Nonspecific inhibition of collagenases or selective inhibition of MMP-9 decreased pathological vascular permeability in a murine model of diabetic retinal edema. This study reveals that netrin-1 degradation products are capable of modulating vascular permeability, suggesting that these fragments are of potential therapeutic interest for the treatment of DR.
Khalil Miloudi, François Binet, Ariel Wilson, Agustin Cerani, Malika Oubaha, Catherine Menard, Sullivan Henriques, Gaelle Mawambo, Agnieszka Dejda, Phuong Trang Nguyen, Flavio A. Rezende, Steve Bourgault, Timothy E. Kennedy, Przemyslaw Sapieha
The lymphatic vasculature is essential for maintaining interstitial fluid homeostasis, and dysfunctional lymphangiogenesis contributes to various pathological processes, including inflammatory disease and tumor metastasis. Mutations in
Anees Fatima, Ying Wang, Yutaka Uchida, Pieter Norden, Ting Liu, Austin Culver, William H. Dietz, Ford Culver, Meredith Millay, Yoh-suke Mukouyama, Tsutomu Kume
RASA1 (also known as p120 RasGAP) is a Ras GTPase–activating protein that functions as a regulator of blood vessel growth in adult mice and humans. In humans, RASA1 mutations cause capillary malformation–arteriovenous malformation (CM-AVM); whether it also functions as a regulator of the lymphatic vasculature is unknown. We investigated this issue using mice in which Rasa1 could be inducibly deleted by administration of tamoxifen. Systemic loss of RASA1 resulted in a lymphatic vessel disorder characterized by extensive lymphatic vessel hyperplasia and leakage and early lethality caused by chylothorax (lymphatic fluid accumulation in the pleural cavity). Lymphatic vessel hyperplasia was a consequence of increased proliferation of lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) and was also observed in mice in which induced deletion of Rasa1 was restricted to LECs. RASA1-deficient LECs showed evidence of constitutive activation of Ras in situ. Furthermore, in isolated RASA1-deficient LECs, activation of the Ras signaling pathway was prolonged and cellular proliferation was enhanced after ligand binding to different growth factor receptors, including VEGFR-3. Blockade of VEGFR-3 was sufficient to inhibit the development of lymphatic vessel hyperplasia after loss of RASA1 in vivo. These findings reveal a role for RASA1 as a physiological negative regulator of LEC growth that maintains the lymphatic vasculature in a quiescent functional state through its ability to inhibit Ras signal transduction initiated through LEC-expressed growth factor receptors such as VEGFR-3.
Philip E. Lapinski, Sunkuk Kwon, Beth A. Lubeck, John E. Wilkinson, R. Sathish Srinivasan, Eva Sevick-Muraca, Philip D. King
Stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability and the third leading cause of death in the United States. While most research thus far has focused on acute stroke treatment and neuroprotection, the exploitation of endogenous brain self-repair mechanisms may also yield therapeutic strategies. Here, we describe a distinct type of stroke treatment, the naturally occurring extracellular matrix fragment of perlecan, domain V, which we found had neuroprotective properties and enhanced post-stroke angiogenesis, a key component of brain repair, in rodent models of stroke. In both rat and mouse models, Western blot analysis revealed elevated levels of perlecan domain V. When systemically administered 24 hours after stroke, domain V was well tolerated, reached infarct and peri-infarct brain vasculature, and restored stroke-affected motor function to baseline pre-stroke levels in these multiple stroke models in both mice and rats. Post-stroke domain V administration increased VEGF levels via a mechanism involving brain endothelial cell α5β1 integrin, and the subsequent neuroprotective and angiogenic actions of domain V were in turn mediated via VEGFR. These results suggest that perlecan domain V represents a promising approach for stroke treatment.
Boyeon Lee, Douglas Clarke, Abraham Al Ahmad, Michael Kahle, Christi Parham, Lisa Auckland, Courtney Shaw, Mehmet Fidanboylu, Anthony Wayne Orr, Omolara Ogunshola, Andrzej Fertala, Sarah A. Thomas, Gregory J. Bix
Neovessel formation is a complex process governed by the orchestrated action of multiple factors that regulate EC specification and dynamics within a growing vascular tree. These factors have been widely exploited to develop therapies for angiogenesis-related diseases such as diabetic retinopathy and tumor growth and metastasis. WNT signaling has been implicated in the regulation and development of the vascular system, but the detailed mechanism of this process remains unclear. Here, we report that Dickkopf1 (DKK1) and Dickkopf2 (DKK2), originally known as WNT antagonists, play opposite functional roles in regulating angiogenesis. DKK2 induced during EC morphogenesis promoted angiogenesis in cultured human endothelial cells and in in vivo assays using mice. Its structural homolog, DKK1, suppressed angiogenesis and was repressed upon induction of morphogenesis. Importantly, local injection of DKK2 protein significantly improved tissue repair, with enhanced neovascularization in animal models of both hind limb ischemia and myocardial infarction. We further showed that DKK2 stimulated filopodial dynamics and angiogenic sprouting of ECs via a signaling cascade involving LRP6-mediated APC/Asef2/Cdc42 activation. Thus, our findings demonstrate the distinct functions of DKK1 and DKK2 in controlling angiogenesis and suggest that DKK2 may be a viable therapeutic target in the treatment of ischemic vascular diseases.
Jeong-Ki Min, Hongryeol Park, Hyun-Jung Choi, Yonghak Kim, Bo-Jeong Pyun, Vijayendra Agrawal, Byeong-Wook Song, Jongwook Jeon, Yong-Sun Maeng, Seung-Sik Rho, Sungbo Shim, Jin-Ho Chai, Bon-Kyoung Koo, Hyo Jeong Hong, Chae-Ok Yun, Chulhee Choi, Young-Myoung Kim, Ki-Chul Hwang, Young-Guen Kwon
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